Archive for January, 2018

Jan 16 2018

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Computer Aggravation vs Snowshoeing

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Earlier this morning, I was having one of those days when everything I did on my computer was glitch-ridden, confusing, or just plain wrong. Website uploads didn’t go smoothly at all, and I started getting frustrated when the little circle thingy in the center of my screen started spinning out. So I did what every troglodyte like me does when the digital world becomes too much. I stepped away from my desk and went outdoors.

I conferred with my dog Matika as I was pulling on my boots. I asked her if she thought laying more tracks in the local woods was a good idea. She was all for it.

I strapped on my snowshoes and away we went – single-digit temps be damned. I had started cutting tracks in the fresh snow yesterday but had left a lot of it undone. This morning I set forth to finish what I’d started. Before long a labyrinth of packed trails criss-crossed the small patch of woods near my house. Pointless, yes, but great fun… and better than staring at a computer screen all day.

Squirrel tracks ran across the snow from tree to tree. Deer tracks went every which way. The snow clinging to the branches overhead was a beautiful sight, and the chilling air carried away my stinky thoughts. By the time I returned to the house, my legs were achy in a good way. I knocked the snow off my snowshoes then went back inside.

Cleaning up my online mess wasn’t so hard after an hour outdoors. Sometimes that’s all it takes. I don’t like snow as much as bare ground for hiking, but given a choice between computer aggravation and snowshoeing, the latter always seems like the better choice.

 

 

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Jan 03 2018

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After the Deep Freeze

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After six days of sub-zero temps my poor dog Matika was bouncing off the walls. I was hankering for a walk as well. So we headed out at noon today (pushing away from the computer) to stretch our legs. Temps were in the balmy teens by then.

Aldis Hill was on the way home from the post office where I ship daily. I parked the car near the trailhead then bolted into the woods. To my surprise, the snowy trail was hard-packed from heavy use. I was slipping and sliding around from the start. Didn’t think to bring my Microspikes. Oh well. Matika motored right past me with ease. She has four-paw drive.

A typical January day with snow on the ground and a partly cloudy sky overhead. The woods quiet, stark and leafless. The gradual climb kept me warm enough. I let go of work thoughts as much as possible. Plenty of time for that tomorrow when the big snowstorm arrives. My right knee ached, more from a lack of use than from overuse. Note to self: get outdoors more. Use it or lose it.

I’m glad the holidays are over so that I can focus on my literary work and the bookselling biz. I have yet another book ready to publish and look forward to getting it ready for the press. All the same, I’ve been feeling an urge lately to get out and go for a long hike, snowshoe, whatever. Soon, real soon.

Funny how winter doesn’t weigh on me as much as it did when I was younger. After 35 years living in the North Country, have I finally become a Vermonter? Well, the other day I returned home from a short trip to the grocery store and told my wife Judy that the near zero temps weren’t that bad. “It’s a dry cold,” I said.

After getting my fill of fresh air, and Matika her fill of sniffing, we returned home. Back to work. I don’t mind this season so much anymore. As long as I can get out every other day or so, I’m good. Pity those poor folks who fly south every year to escape the arctic blasts. They’ll never get used to it.

 

 

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